In our Gospel reading from Luke, Herod hears about Jesus, and what the people are saying about Him, that He was one of the prophets risen from the dead, including John the Baptist. But Herod knows that he had John killed, so he’s curious about who Jesus really is. And Luke tells us that “he kept trying to see him.”
As it turns out, Herod doesn’t see Jesus until Jesus’ Passion, when Pilate sends Jesus to Herod because He was a Galilean. When they do meet, Herod wants to see Jesus perform some sign (Luke 23:6-11). It seems that he is only interested in some kind of performance. He doesn’t seem to be really interested in what Jesus has to say about God or the kingdom or the “least of these.”
The challenge for us is not so much to consider what we want God to perform for us, but to open our hearts and let God in. We are invited to come to know Jesus’ love for us from the Cross. We are called to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in loving God and loving our neighbor in response to all that God has done for us.
May we take the risk and come ever closer to Jesus. Unlike Herod, may we not so much wonder about Him, but be willing to let Him more and more into our hearts and our lives.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P., is the local superior of the Passionist Community in Birmingham, Alabama.